Key 2 Cross Stitch Pattern
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The best needle to use for cross stitch is a tapestry needle with a blunt tip and larger eye. For other stitches such as French knots and backstitch, use a sharper pointed needle.
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Ideally the size of needle to use for Aida fabric would be 24 and 26 for evenweaves. A pair of small sharp embroidery scissors is also essential to cut your threads neatly. Stranded cottons. Embroidery threads, also known as stranded cottons or skeins, are available in hundreds of different colours. Each thread comprises six individual strands, which can be separated.
Usually the pattern key will tell you to use two of the six strands together to do standard cross stitches and a single thread for backstitches.
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Well known brands include Anchor, DMC and Madeira, which are available from haberdashery shops and larger department stores. These companies produce colours charts, listing each coloured thread with a colour swatch and corresponding number. The pattern key will indicate which colours are recommended for your pattern. There are also a number of threads that produce a glittering, multicoloured and satin appearance.
Embroidery hoops and frames are useful for holding the fabric in position and keeping stitching tension even. Select a hoop that is bigger than your design, so you can complete the project without repositioning the frame over stitched work. Embroidery hoops should also be removed in between stitching sessions so that the fabric does not stretch. To find the centre of the Aida fabric, fold the fabric in half and then in half again.
Mark the centre point with a needle. Cut 1 m of thread and separate the strands according to the pattern instructions and thread through the eye of the needle. Start your first cross stitch at the top of the design top left if you are right- handed and top right if you are left-handed.
This way, as you continue to cross stitch you will not rub your hand over existing stitches.
Use the centre point of the pattern to count the number of squares each one represents a stitch to the top starting point of the pattern. At the end of every cross stitch row, release the needle let it hang freely so the thread can unwind - this will prevent knots forming. When creating a half stitch or completing a full stitch, stop pulling the thread through the fabric when you feel resistance. This keeps the tension loose and creates more even looking stitches.
Tip : Stitch with clean hands and avoid applying hand cream as this can mark the fabric. Bring the needle up through the back of the Aida, leaving about 2 cm of thread behind A.
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Cross Stitch Chart and Key Basics
Decode Any Tunisian Crochet Pattern. Tunisian crochet may be a combo of knitting and traditional crochet, but it has a whole glossary of terms and abbreviations all its own or, at least, that glossary takes on slightly different meanings when applied here.
Use this cheat sheet to follow your patterns until you get the lingo down. Cross stitch charts generally consist of whole squares representing complete cross stitches, but sometimes you will see additional stitches added indicating three-quarter cross stitches sometimes called fractional stitches , French knots and so on.
Traditionally, cross stitchers begin to stitch from the middle of the chart and the middle of the fabric to ensure that the design is centred when it is mounted and framed. Find the middle by following the arrows, or counting the stitches left to right and top to bottom. The count of a fabric the number of stitches to 2.
To prevent serious counting errors, use a coloured pen to rule a line on the chart from arrow to arrow to find the centre and then add a line of tacking basting to the fabric. If working a band sampler, work the tacking basting lines down either side of the first band — to prevent your project wandering to right or left.